If you compare a map of the Louisiana coastline in the 1920s to today, the difference is striking. About 4876 square kilometres of land has just disappeared — swallowed into the Gulf of Mexico. And each year Louisiana loses more. In fact, roughly a football field’s worth of land is lost every hour.
In 50 years, most of southeastern Louisiana not protected by levees will be part of the Gulf of Mexico. The state is losing a football field of land every 48 minutes — 16 square miles a year — due to climate change, drilling and dredging for oil and gas, and levees on the Mississippi River.
This, of course, will continue to have an enormous impact on the regional economy, as the Gulf Coast’s water levels are anticipated to rise 4.3 feet by the year 2100. As the old saying goes, they’re quite literally not making land anymore.
Image: Screenshot from ProPublica